Have you thought how you can be creative for life?
To be creative for life is one of my goals. Perhaps it is one we share. The idea of being on a lifelong learning journey excites and stimulates me. So does the idea of living creatively. The two seem interrelated.
Everyone knows that creativity is is for painters and poets, sculptors and scribes.
BUT BEING CREATIVE FOR LIFE IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF EVERY FULL AND SATISFYING EXISTENCE (Julia Cameron)
There are dozens of definitions of creativity. Philosophers, neuroscientists, quantum physicists, psychotherapists, historians, ethnologists, theologians, educators and writers claim to know what is creative.
They all recognise that creativity affects them and their work. They’ve come up with their own definitions and theories.
Put simply, creativity is a playful process through which something new and valuable is produced. Creativity is fun.
Little children are naturally playful and creative. That’s how they learn. Often creativity doesn’t continue. This instinct to discover and create is often suppressed. Most of us have experienced the socialising process.
Our parents wanted us to conform to their way of thinking and being. They were responsible for ‘socialising’ their children. They forgot to tell us we should be creative for life.
At school, kids are taught that there are right and wrong ways of doing what they do. Artistic attempts are criticised. The way they put down their ideas in writing are ‘corrected’. Perhaps they’re told they sing off key, or too loudly. Some are even shamed when they try to express ourselves.
Eventually, creativity gets blocked by the censoring voices that we all take on board.
The good news is that creativity can be freed and cultivated in all aspects of life.
I know I’ve said this in previous posts, but for anyone serious about unblocking their creativity, I highly recommend The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering your Creative Self by Julia Cameron.
Published in 1994 it is still available. It has been an international best seller. I discovered the book fifteen years ago.
I’d always been keen on writing and craft, gardening, decorating my home and gardening. But always within self-imposed limits. Always self-critical and self-conscious about my endeavours. I never called them work. I saw them as add-on extras to my ‘real’ life.
Over the twelve weeks of the course, I faithfully followed the suggestions in each of the chapters. I began to write ‘morning pages’ and to take myself weekly on what the author calls ‘artist’s dates’. I also walked every morning, which seems to have been the practice of many famous creative people.
I got the message that I could be creative for life.
I began to discover all sorts of things I had not previously known about myself. Already in my sixties, I gave myself permission to experiment and play.
My life took off in new and exciting directions. Ideas developed, and the freedom to experiment. I did the things I’d always loved but in more imaginative ways.
Colour flooded into my life. Shocks of deep pink and purple appeared where previously there had been only cream. Decorating became more experimental, less fixed. Everything could change if it became boring. My cooking improved. So did my garden. I was more creative at work. Relationships blossomed.
I began and completed a Master of Arts (Writing) full-time while still working as a CEO of a non-government agency. I wrote my first (unpublishable) novel. I had fun.
Free to try new things, I also had the odd failure. The the outdoor setting I painted bright turquoise jarred horribly with my beautiful, peaceful garden. Someone took them away an hour after I put them on the street verge. Someone liked them!
Being creative takes courage. The danger of failure is always present. But who cares as long as you are having fun? Learning from failure is itself a creative activity.
Please share a little of your creative journey in a comment on my post.
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